Original Paper

Medical Molecular Morphology

, 42:204

First online:

Expression and localization of tricellulin in human nasal epithelial cells in vivo and in vitro

  • Tsuyoshi OhkuniAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, Sapporo Medical University School of MedicineDepartment of Pathology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine
  • , Takashi KojimaAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine Email author 
  • , Noriko OgasawaraAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, Sapporo Medical University School of MedicineDepartment of Pathology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine
  • , Tomoyuki MasakiAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, Sapporo Medical University School of MedicineDepartment of Pathology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine
  • , Takafumi NinomiyaAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine
  • , Shin KikuchiAffiliated withDepartment of Anatomy, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine
  • , Mitsuru GoAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine
  • , Ken-ichi TakanoAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine
  • , Tetsuo HimiAffiliated withDepartment of Otolaryngology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine
    • , Norimasa SawadaAffiliated withDepartment of Pathology, Sapporo Medical University School of Medicine

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Abstract

Tricellulin was identified as the first marker of the tricellular tight junction, which forms at the meeting points of three cells, and it is required for the maintenance of the transepithelial barrier. Although it is also considered to be important for the mucosal barrier of the upper respiratory tract, little is known about its expression and localization. In the present study, we examined the expression and localization of tricellulin in normal human nasal epithelial cells in vivo and in vitro, especially using primary cultures and telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT)-transfected cells. In human nasal epithelial cells in vivo and in vitro, mRNA and protein of tricellulin were detected. It was localized not only at tricellular contacts but also at bicellular borders, and in part colocalized with occludin. In human nasal epithelium, by immunoelectron microscopy analysis, tricellulin-associated gold particles were observed around the junction-like structure of the uppermost region. By treatment with 10% fetal bovine serum (FBS), expression of tricellulin mRNA was weakly increased, whereas that of bicellular tight junction molecules was strongly increased, in real-time PCR. These results suggest that tricellulin is stably expressed in human nasal epithelial cells and may play an important role for the sealing of the corner at tricellular contacts to prevent infiltration by various inhaled viruses and antigens.

Key words

Tight junctions Tricellulin Human nasal epithelial cells